Anglic Union

“I seem to recall that there are certain fees involved,” Broadbent said, “large fees, payable in Stellar Republic currency, a commodity in very short supply within the Anglic Union given your new trade regulations.” Let us see where he goes with that, she considered.

“The fees are very reasonable,” Bronkowski said, “and easily paid under our highly equitable trade regulations, namely the space yards in question agree to take a Stellar Republic spaceship construction firm as its senior investor, in which case the senior investor pays the fees.”

“I’ve heard of several of these,” Broadbent said.  She shook her head.  “It always seemed that after a while the senior investor ended up owning and then closing the yard in question.”

“Oh, on rare occasions business does poorly,” Bronkowski said, “and then the senior investor has to protect its investment in what was, after all, a small, fourth-rate shipyard.”

“I see,” Broadbent said.  “Of course, taking a foreign investor as a partner is illegal in the Anglic Union, so such arrangements are not worth discussing further here.  Foreign investment in the Union is illegal.”  She paused.  Bronkowski  drew back.  Hadn’t he known, she wondered, how Union investment laws worked?  “So why would we want to register, ignoring financial issues?  You must have some good reasons.  Please tell me about them.”

“Madame Broadbent,” Brankowski said, “all across the galaxy, this is how things are done.  Before you build your spaceship, you must register it.  With us.”

“Curiously,” Broadbent said, “we are not someplace across the Galaxy.  We are here on Earth, the home world of mankind, in the successor state to the nation that gave mankind manned interplanetary flight.  We do not need to ask the permission of foreigners to build spaceships.  After all, we’ve been doing it since before your Republic did.”

“If you do not register it,” Brankowski said, “there are also practical consequences.”

“Actually, for that matter,” Broadbent asked, “why do you think we are planning on building spaceships?  You are not the first person to contact us on this topic, though most letters we get are nice people trying to sell us things.”

“The Stellar Republic Intelligence Services are all-seeing,” Brankowski answered.  “Also, given your circumstances, well, if I were running your operation I would be vigorously planning to build spaceships.  We seem to  have different perspectives on the matter.”

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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